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5 from 2 votes
Indian butter chicken recipe
Murgh Makhani Recipe | How to make Murgh Makhani
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
This easy butter chicken is a mild creamy gravy with juicy and tender chicken. It is generally served with naan or chapati but tastes good with basmati rice. Butter chicken is also known as Murgh Makhani in Hindi.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 Serving
Author: Rachna's Kitchen
For marinating
  • ½ kg Chicken thighs - boneless skinless
  • ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder/ garlic paste
  • ½ tsp. Red chili powder/Cayenne pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon crushed pepper
  • ½ Teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • ½ Tablespoon mustard oil
  • ¼ Teaspoon crushed saffron threads
  • ¾ Teaspoon kasuri methi dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ Tablespoon ginger paste
For Sauce (Makhani gravy)
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 two inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 aniseed
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 3 cloves
  • ½ Teaspoon cumin seeds/Shahi jeera Kala jeera
  • 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 1 ½ cup Tomato puree
  • ¼ Teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ Teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 8 Cashew nuts soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • 8 Almonds soaked in water for 10 minutes
  • A pinch of fenugreek seed powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder adjust to taste
  • ½ garam masala powder
  • ½ Tablespoon kasuri methi
  • ¼ Tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 100 ml chilled cream
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
Marinating the chicken
  1. Wash and clean chicken thoroughly under running water. Pat dry with a kitchen towel. In a mixing bowl put chicken pieces, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, garlic powder, ginger paste and lemon juice.
  2. Mix it well. Then add garam masala, crushed pepper, crushed saffron threads, dried fenugreek leaves(kasuri methi), salt, mustard oil and Greek yogurt.
  3. Mix it well and keep aside for atleast half an hour (2 hours recommended). Meanwhile chicken is marinating let's prepare sauce(gravy).
Preparing sauce
  1. Place a deep pan on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter). Once ghee is melt, add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, aniseed, cardamom, and cloves. Stir for 30 seconds. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add ginger garlic paste and stir for about a minute till the raw aroma evaporates.
  2. Add tomato puree and saute. Let it cook for 2 minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chili powder. Turn the heat to low and let it simmer.
  3. Meanwhile sauce is simmering, grind soaked cashews and almonds in mixer jar and keep it aside.
  4. After 5 minutes of cooking, mixture starts coming together and leaves ghee at the edges. This means masala mixture is properly cooked.
  5. Add the cashew and almond paste. Mix it and keep the mixture simmering.
  6. Add kasmiri red chili powder and a pinch of fenugreek powder.
  7. Sauce turns thick while simmering, so adjust it consistency by adding 1/4 cup of water or as required. After two minutes turn off the flame. Sauce is ready.
Grilling chicken
  1. Let's cook the chicken. Place a pan on highest heat. To check the correct temperature flick some water droplets into the pan If bead of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact with pan, this is the correct temperature for stir frying the chicken. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee.
  2. Add the marinade. Stir fry on high flame till all the moisture evaporates. Keep it stirring continuously to prevent sticking and burning.
  3. Now keep stir frying for another 2 minutes and chicken should be completely cooked. It took me total 6 minutes to stir fry the chicken.
Arranging the butter chicken
  1. Place sauce pan over medium heat. Transfer chicken to the sauce pan and mix.
  2. Add salt to taste. Add garam masala, sugar, cream and stir for 30 seconds. Turn off the flame instantly. Sprinkle kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves).
  3. Easy Indian butter chicken is ready to serve with naanor rice.